Lectures start promptly at 7:30PM and are held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month September through May

9-11-2018: The Metaphysics of Nazi Anti-Semitism

David Patterson, Ph.D., UTD

This lecture examines the first principles of Nazi anti-Semitism.  It explores the question of what the Nazis were trying to annihilate in the annihilation of the Jews.  It explains how the Nazi view of world and humanity is diametrically opposite a Jewish view and why, according to the Nazi worldview, total extermination was a logical necessity.

9-25-2018: The Woman Question

Nancy Barlow, MA, RN

In the United States, we know women make about 82 cents for every dollar a man makes.  Since the 1950s and Betty Friedan, women have sought rights and equality…again.  Achieving the right to vote did not bring equity to women, nor has any movement since.  Philosophers have long asked “Why?” in response to perplexing phenomena.  This presentation will take a brief look at “the woman question” through the ideas of Western thought to see if our philosophical heritage sheds light on the ongoing struggle of women.     

What philosophers since the ancients have said about women and the effect of their words on women's quest for equality even today.

10-9-2018: The Process Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead

David G. Drumm

In discussions about the range of frameworks available to address philosophical problems, systems of process philosophy deriving from Whitehead’s mid twentieth century writing are often overlooked. This is regrettable in that Whitehead’s system provides a meaningful alternative to prevalent systems of linguistic analysis, existentialism, structuralism, constructivism, and  reductive scientism.

10-23-2018: The Changing Political Landscape

Bradley Carter, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus at SMU

The United States, as is true of the Western world at large, is experiencing very real political changes, disconnects, and disruptions. The way we have practiced politics since World Was II is being questioned. The liberal order based on somewhat elitist democracy and free market economics is being challenged, as are the political elites that established and managed that world by various shades of Populism. Even the importance of the “expert” is subject to questioning. How can we understand this? How can we deal with it?

Thinking about politics and solving political problems requires describing political realities and prescribing solutions, a complicated task. We can never achieve a full understanding thus we can never craft the perfect prescription. We will not fully diagnose the present crisis for some time and thus we cannot offer a perfect prescription to bring together populations divided by mistrust and myopia. But we already have come to understand, in part, the alienation of those who believe the liberal order unjust and on the basis of that understanding we may possibly craft a prescription as to how to change that perception and its causes.  This will not be easy. The supporters of the present order and their Populist  opponents have different political beliefs and goals and they adhere to very different prescriptions of political realities. We are in for a bumpy ride.

11-13-2018: Emergence and the Science of Miracles

Paul Tobolowsky, M.D.

We exist and enjoy the Dallas Philosophers Forum because lifeless atoms clump together to form living, thinking organisms. The amazing leaps in the organization of atoms that have created us are termed “Emergence,” and we are proof that remarkable processes occur every moment of our lives.”

11-27-2018: The  Nature, Use, and Abuse of Human Conceptual Systems

Win Galbraith, Ph.D.

This talk will examine how human beings construct and use various systems of organizing concepts, whether scientific, religious, or other.  We will explore how to distinguish different types of conceptual systems and how to evaluate whether some are more useful or “better” than others. 

12-11-2018: The Philosophy of Ancient India

Bill Bernstein, M.S.

Vedanta is the underlying philosophy of the ancient works of India: the Vedas. This talk will cover highlights of that philosophy and encompass that tradition’s abstract concept of money.  I’ll speak mainly about the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta, or non-dual Vedanta, formed hundreds of years ago in India. The Vedas are the ancient scriptures underlying Hinduism; “Vedanta” is often translated as meaning “The end of the Vedas”. I spent twelve years in South India, studying this belief system.  I will add some of my philosophy about the fact that money is a completely abstract concept. Money is representational: it exists as a means for humans to function in society, and yet it has come to be viewed as something of value on its own, as a goal independent of its uses.